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Saskatchewan stabbings latest: Canada police ‘confident’ someone knows location of suspects in mass attack

10 dead and 15 injured in mass stabbings across Saskatchewan, Canada

At least 10 people are dead and another 15 have been wounded in a stabbing spree across 13 locations throughout the province of Saskatchewan, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

“It is horrific what has happened in our province today,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore said in a press conference on Sunday.

Police said the victims were a mix of those chosen at random and some specifically targeted.

Officers are trying to find suspects Damien and Myles Sanderson, who were last seen driving a black Nissan Rogue with the Saskatchewan license plate 119 MPI.

In a Monday morning update, police chief Evan Bray said that officers are “confident” that someone out there knows the whereabouts of the two suspects, and made a plea for them to come forward with any relevant information.

“We will not stop this investigation until we have those two safely in custody,” he said in a Twitter address.

Residents of village Weldon in Saskatchewan identified 77-year-old Wes Petterson among the victims, while Lana Head, a mother of two, was identified as another one of the victims by her former partner.

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‘There’s a lot of grievance’ says Regina police chief in Monday morning update

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray says that the entire province and communities throughout it continue to feel on edge on Monday morning, as the manhunt for the two suspects wanted in connection with the deadly stabbing on Sunday that left 10 people dead remain at large.

“There’s a lot of grievance, there’s a lot of anxiety in our province and in our communities this morning and all day yesterday,” said Chief Bray in a video shared to his Twitter account.

“Really, I think an important step for families and communities working through this will be to bring these two safely into custody. And so again if anyone has any information I would urge you to reach out to your local police service and let us know,” he added in the early morning address.

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Everything we know about the deadly Saskatchewan knife attacks

On Sunday morning, two men are suspected of carrying out a series of deadly knife attacks in the northern Saskatchewan communities of James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon.

So far, police have said that at least 10 people were killed in the spate of stabbings while another 15 were said to have been injured, though authorities conceded that that figure could be higher than some people stabbed could’ve taken themselves to hospital without alerting first responders.

The manhunt for the two wanted men, Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, stretched overnight and well into Monday morning in the prairie province, with authorities stating that they believed the pair to be driving a black Nissan Rogue with the Saskatchewan license flat 119 MPI.

Catch up on everything you might’ve missed overnight and into the morning by reading The Independent’s latest on the mass stabbing event.

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‘It’s pretty horrific’: First Nation chief describes the horror he woke up to on Sunday morning

Chief Calvin Sanderson, Chakastaypasin Band, which is one of the communities that make up the James Smith Cree Nation, told the Saskatoon Star Phoenix that he had his cell phone off on Sunday, and was only alerted to the tragedy that had unfolded in his community when neighbors came to check in on him.

“Everyone’s been affected,” he told the local Saskatchewan news outlet.

“They were our relatives, friends. Mostly we’re all related here, so it’s pretty hard,” Mr Sanderson said. “It’s pretty horrifying.”

Read the full story from the Saskatoon Star Phoenix here.

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Police ‘confident’ someone knows whereabouts of two suspects

In an early morning update shared on the Regina Police Department’s Twitter, Chief Evan Bray confirmed that the previous night’s efforts to find the two wanted men in the deadly Saskatchewan stabbings was fruitless.

“Despite ongoing relentless efforts through the night by both the RCMP and the Regina Police Service to locate these two individuals, they have not yet been located. And so efforts continue,” the chief said, noting that a “fresh set of investigators” would be arriving on Monday morning to takeover the investigation for the rest of the day.

“We will not stop this investigation until we have those two safely in custody.”

The chief also made a point to direct a plea to the public, specifically those who he and other law enforcement agencies believe know the location of the suspects.

“We know, we are confident that someone out there knows the whereabouts of these two and has information that would be valuable to the police. And I urge you to get in touch with your local police service to let us know,” he said, before repping that any information that people have could be helpful in returning the community to safety.

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James Smith Cree Nation remains on lockdown

The James Smith Cree Nation was reportedly patrolled all night by local Royal Canadian Mounted Police, locals reported early on Monday morning.

The First Nation, composed of three communities in northern Saskatchewan, went into lockdown after two suspects attacked at least 25 people with knives, fatally injuring at least 10.

“The RCMP mobile incident command station is set up at the band office and the RCMP will be patrolling the reserve all night. We are going to be safe,” wrote Robert Head, a member in the community, on Facebook while sharing a picture of the patrol cars parked outside.

RCMP cars are seen patrolling the James Smith Cree Nation in northern Saskatchewan on Sunday 4 September 2023 hours after two suspects fatally wounded 10 and injured at least 15 with knives

(Facebook/RobertHead)

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Residents detail waking up to horror on otherwise calm holiday weekend: ‘There’s too much happening’

Residents of the otherwise calm James Smith Cree Nation told local news how they woke up early on the holiday weekend Sunday to a heavy police presence and multiple cell phone alerts about the tragedy that had unfolded in the safety of their own community.

“I slept in, and I just woke up to all this news,” said Tracy Marion, a manager of the James Smith community convenience store and gas station, in an interview with the Saskatoon Star Phoenix.

The on-reserve population is estimated to be 1,892, according to their website, while the village of Weldon, the other site of multiple stabbings, is said to be about 200 people.

“It was about 7:30 am My husband was in the garden. He saw police cars and an ambulance come to town. It’s a little town. This is terrible, terrible. We’ve still got our doors locked, staying inside, not going out,” Weldon resident Diane Shier described to the local news outlet in an interview on Sunday.

“We went to church this morning in the town of Weldon, and everybody came. Nobody stayed home — as far as I know — for that reason, anyways. There were police sitting on the roads,” said Carmen Hanson, another Weldon resident.

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Tributes for in for victims killed: ‘I will forever cherish your sweet demeanor and caring ways’

Lana Head was identified by her former partner in an interview with APTN News to have died as a result of wounds she received in the brazen stabbing attacks carried out at James Smith Cree Nation on Sunday.

Michael Brett Burns, her former partner and father to their two children, said the family and friends of Head were mourning and asked that people respect their privacy during this difficult time.

“I’m hurt for all this loss,” he said.

On Head’s Facebook page, tributes for the 31-year-old began pouring in, as the news of her death began to ripple through the community.

“Still reeling as to what happened at JS. In total disbelief that were taken from this world in that horror,” wrote Teresa Stewart on Head’s Facebook wall. “I will miss our chats and seeing your chipmunk cheek smile May you be guided into the spirit world wrapped in comfort, peace and love.”

“I love you and say prayers for your children, grandchildren, your family. I am going to miss your sweet hello’s and messages. I will forever cherish your sweet demeanour and caring ways,” wrote Jenn Sanderson on the mother’s Facebook wall.

In a post from a friend who appears to be writing for one of Head’s children, the child of the deceased woman describes how they’d been looking forward to celebrating their 16th birthday, a celebration that they’ll now never get to ring in together .

“Mom. You never got to see my sweet 16.. that we both dreamed so much about. I never got to say goodbye. i’m going to miss you so much.. i don’t know what to do without you. Please reply to me and tell me this is all a dream.. please come and let’s visit in your car,” the post read, signed off from someone saying they were Head’s child.

In a Facebook post, Michael Brett Burns, the former partner of Head, shared a statement commemorating his children’s mother: “You will be missed dearly Lana. Thank you for beautiful daughters and granddaughters. Love.”

Later in the evening, Mr Burns followed that post up with another lamenting the loss of his children’s mother: “Oh my goodness i just hurt and tonight i cry alone : (”

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Two more possible victims killed in Saskatchewan stabbing identified, family reports

Two more possible victims killed on Sunday during a spate of stabbings carried out by two men who remain at large in northern Saskatchewan have been identified by their family.

On Facebook, a man named Buggy B Burns identified two of the possible victims as being his wife and first born son.

“Wow not the call to wake up to this morning while horse racing,” he began in the post, which has amassed hundreds of comments of condolences from friends and family members. “I lost my first born son Jones n my rock my wife Goodvoice-Burns Bonnie,” he said, comparing the loss to “a double edge sword”.

A woman who identified as the sister of the deceased mother reshared Mr Burns original post and lamented the loss of both her sister and her nephew.

“I’m still in total shock .. my sister n my nephew .. prayers to my brother in law n my nephews I’ll be there as soon as I can.. please send ur prayers to my family,” wrote Shawna Dawn Spyglass on Facebook.

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Flags at legislative buildings lowered to half mast

The province of Saskatchewan said that legislative buildings and other provincial facilities will fly their flags at half mast for the lives lost in Sunday’s attack.

“The province says it’s activated Provincial Command & brought in more law enforcement resources (16 staff) from Provincial Protective Services. Flags at the Legislative Building and other prov gov buildings have been lowered. Will remain one day for each life lost,” wrote CBC Saskatchewan reporter Sam Maciag on Twitter late on Sunday night.

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Checkpoints set up across the region, police say

The multi-agency-involved manhunt for the pair of wanted men forced law enforcement agencies throughout Saskatchewan to set up checkpoints, with Manitoba and Alberta authorities also being alerted to be on the lookout for the described getaway vehicle.

The Prince Albert Police Service and Regina Police Service were said to be assisting Saskatchewan RCMP in searching for the two suspects.

From Prince Albert, located about 60km to the west of James Smith Cree Nation where the initial stabbings took place, to the capital of Regina, police have set up multiple checkpoints with officers checking for mandatory identification at each crossing.

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